John Dower’s monumental tome, Embracing Defeat, has been required reading for the last two weeks of one of my courses. Its an extraordinary book, touching on all kinds of aspects of the American Occupation, from panpan girls to changes in the language, from guilt to joy, the Tokyo war Tribunal, the decision to maintain the Imperial institution, and the promulgation of a new Constitution, written predominantly by SCAP in less than two weeks.

General MacArthur and Emperor Hirohito

For anyone interested in how Japan emerged from the ashes and ruin of World War II to become a predominant world economic power, this is a must-read.